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Satellite Television in the mid-1990s ... A nostalgic journey
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#1
Dear friends,
Today we have numerous channels and seven direct-to-home (dth) operators. But not many of us know how the situation was in the early and mid-1990s

I grew up during the time when we used to record and watch shows on VCRs having cassettes with VHS tape. Now we have DVRs and no more struggling with cassette tapes like those chewed out by the VCR Tongue

DD1 was the channel of the masses. Mythological shows in the morning and a Hindi feature film in the evening was enough to keep people at home and off the streets.
And in metro cities we had DD Metro which used to run for part of the day in the evenings. "Giant Robot, Superhit Muqabla, Junoon" were introduced to compete with satellite channels that had just started.

So now back to 1991. Newspapers full of reports on the Gulf war. With that CNN started beaming in India. Slowly satellite television was picking up popularity and more channels from STAR (Satellite Television Asian Region) were in India. English soaps like "Santa Barbara, The Bold and the Beautiful, Perfect Scoundrels" were gaining viewers who were starved of English content on television.

I clearly remember the channels we received from our analog satellite receivers and a big huge dish put on the terrace. They were Star TV (later renamed as Star Plus with English serials and shows), BBC, MTV, Prime Sports and ATN Gold (part-time Hindi films and songs channel).

Popular FTA Analog Satellite Television channels in the mid-1990s

[Image: osPTK.jpg] [Image: 5qL2Y.jpg] [Image: xKcYc.jpg] [Image: 6PLUz.jpg] [Image: IKRcg.jpg] [Image: jMjnQ.jpg] [Image: xPKhr.jpg] [Image: AxRJa.jpg] [Image: b55yx.jpg] [Image: 02gXV.jpg] [Image: QI7G2.jpg]

One day in October 1992 we got the news in Mid-Day newspaper that the owner of Esselworld, an amusement park some distance away from my house had started a Hindi entertainment channel called "Zee TV". I would finish my school homework early and wait for Zee TV to begin in the evening. Commander, Campus , Banegi Apni Baat, and gameshows Tol Mol Ke Bol, Saanp Seedi (Snakes-n-Ladders) were my favourite.

My father says in those days there were no resources like the Internet or sites like Lyngsat or forums.
All the adjustment had to be done by trained technicians who were really difficult to find. The Analog transmission needed entire transponder per channel.
Now he laughs at how the situation has changed today with dishes being a part of many households, modifying the skyline Smile








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#2
(03-03-2012, 12:54 PM)vinay_kumar Wrote: One day in October 1992 we got the news in Mid-Day newspaper that the owner of Esselworld, an amusement park some distance away from my house had started a Hindi entertainment channel called "Zee TV". I used to finish my school homework early and wait for Zee TV to begin in the evening. Commander, Campus , Banegi Apni Baat, and gameshows Tol Mol Ke Bol, Saanp Seedi (Snakes-n-Ladders) were my favourite.

I had just finished my Engineering by that time but I could not re-collect launching of Zee TV. Those days I am very much fancied of just cricket, cricket, cricket.

A very good nostalgic thread Mr. Vinay Smile :happy:


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#3
(03-03-2012, 01:47 PM)samanth Wrote: A very good nostalgic thread Mr. Vinay Smile :happy:

Yes those were very nice days. I would skip school on some pretext to watch TV at home. Big Grin
He-Man, Mahabharat, Ramayan, Dekh bhai Dekh, Zabaan Sambhal Ke and so on...the list is endless.




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#4
zee was EL tv i suppose
:happy:IF YOU LIKE THEN DON'T FORGET TO CLICK THANKS
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#5
(03-03-2012, 02:56 PM)Kanwar Wrote: zee was EL tv i suppose

EL tv was the sister channel of Zee TV from 1995 to 1997. Then in 1997 it was renamed to Zee Cinema, India's first premium pay movie channel.

EL tv was not so popular but had good shows like "Teri bhi chup meri bhi chup, V3, Ghoomta Aaina" etc. Zee Cinema was instantly a hit inspite of being one of the first pay channels. Soon Zee tv also went into Pay channel mode and we then had to get IRD boxes to continue watching.

But must say Zee grew by leaps and bounds. The person who started it Subhash Chandra Goyal was earlier a rice trader before starting Essel Group companies Esselworld, Essel Packaging and yes ZeeTV, EL tv.






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#6
Hey Vinay Bro Excellent info. Yes you are right:happy::happy::happy:
:happy:IF YOU LIKE THEN DON'T FORGET TO CLICK THANKS
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#7
(03-03-2012, 02:56 PM)Kanwar Wrote: zee was EL tv i suppose

Now these old tv channel logos are not there anywhere on the net. I created them in Inkscape recollecting from memory Big Grin

EL tv logo (used from 1995 - 1997)
[Image: 02gXV.jpg]

Zee Cinema old logo (used from 1997 to 2000)
[Image: QI7G2.jpg]




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#8
(03-03-2012, 12:54 PM)@vinay_kumar Wrote: @vinay_kumar:
Thanks for the recollection and the logos, esp Zee Cinema. Back in those days during free to pay tv transition, not all cable operators were equipped to decode pay channels. So EL TV used to run in early evening and by 9 PM it used to go in pay mode (only audio, video was all scrambled). However, sometimes, the encryption would get delayed by a minute or so, so we could catch the Zee Cinema channel logo and start of the 9 PM film. It was and excellent logo animation at that time. I remember that we had to install a separate tuner for VHF and UHF channels on cable. There was NO REMOTE. The channels were changed by twisting the knob until it "clicked" in a new position. IT WAS completely analogue and LOTS OF FUN at that time!!!! since there was only 1 DD channel in the 80's. I still remember people getting to the local markets and buying the circular antenna and installing it to get DD Metro. It was so much fun adjusting the location and tweaking the connections to get the perfect reception... WOW!!
Now everything is fully automatic and of same quality. Earlier, only some cable channels used to get good quality (in middle VHF and lower UHF range). Rest were all grainy. Then we used to request cable operator to install Booster nearby to improve reception.

WOW!!! WOW!!! WOW!!!

and sorry for bumping on an old thread.

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#9
Very good nostalgic drive thru the earlier days of satellite channel invasion in the Indian sky.....I remember those days when I used to keep aside all other work and watch "Superhit Muqabala" on DD Metro and never to miss the movies on Sunday evening on Doordarshan....

Thanks for sharing such a post Vinay..... Smile
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